I survived Bouchercon 2015 in Raleigh AKA I ate the chicken and the waffles.

I had high hopes for this year’s Bouchercon. I was launching a book, I’d skipped a year of the event, I was bringing swag, I was driving my Jag, I even remembered to pack my little red Sisters in Crime pin. Besides, it HAD to be better than Bouchercon ALBANY. Where they put us in an egg. Next to a pond. During a very windy time of the year. Without food. And, dare I say it? WITHOUT ANY ACCESS TO BOOZE. What the fuck were they thinking? THIS IS AN EVENT FOR WRITERS AND READERS. WE NEED THE BOOZE.

If this gig wasn’t run by volunteers, I’m certain someone would have been fired. But, I digress. Never live in the past, Linda.

Unless of course you are killing off a character from the past, THEN BE SURE YOU LEAVE SOME SPECIFIC DETAIL ABOUT THAT ASSHOLE SO THEY KNOW FOR A FACT IT IS INDEED THEIR DEAD BODY AT THE BOTTOM OF THE RAVINE. And if it’s a guy? The penis must be tiny.

So. BOUCHERCON 2015. RALEIGH, NC. as told in pictures.

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This is me confused as to why the blue light is flashing. Hmm. I did not get a picture of TROOPER BOOZER. ( REAL NAME) But he did give me his number on a little slip of paper, told me he’d see me in January. I think he likes me. Also, he told me I was going the wrong way. His shortcut saved me another 45 minutes. On top of the 5o minutes I saved by driving 100 miles an hour, plus that little section on 85N when the blue Mustang and I raced… I arrived in Raleigh in plenty of time  to check in and change clothes before my shift at registration.

Even though I  wasn’t headed to the egg, uphill in Albany, NY. Site of Bouchercon 2013I still had a hike to the Sheraton, and I probably should have studied this map a little better…


Especially before I sent this guy  who remembered me from when I had bangs John Hart

on a wild goose chase to the book signing room. OOPS.  But wait.

Here he is, none the worse for wear, the amazing John Hart (who listened to my book ideas and gave me a new one!)IMG_2208 with his biggest fan, Ross Cavins, the creator of Barry Glick, middle-aged Superhero with Super-Speed, Super-Strength and a super badass mullet.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Before many of the event attendees arrived in Raleigh, I had the chance to grab dinner with my friend Annette. I ate this. Nom nom.


In the morning, I rolled a bag of swag: hats, books, dogtag and keychain bottle openers and book cover tattoos.. and some props

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to the author speed dating room, where apparently I cut my author partner in half, like a magician. Look on the far right at the woman who does nothing halfway- except photos: Alexandra Sokoloff !  The readers appear to be laughing at my funny funny joke, or I spilled something. YES> THAT IS MAKER’S MARK AT 8AM.  Don’t judge.


I basically said this…. probably sounded about this blurry, too,

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13 times as we moved table to table, not drinking THE BOOZE, but talking a lot about these oldies but goodies and all 700 books and projects of Alex’s.final cover NWD 9-26-2011


Then, it was time for coffee and an apple before the panels began. I call  the panels “school for adults,” because when you get tired of sitting you just get up and leave. I met lots of new friends in the bar.



The author in the middle is WONDER WOMAN. I swear. She must be.  If there is something that she can’t do- which I doubt- she can probably teach a group of monkeys to do it, and wait, that sounds like our government.

Kidding. Really. Not really. Anyway, that’s Fiona Quinn. She rocks! With her friend Rebecca and John’s friend, Chris. Stay tuned for more from The Quinn- Sands collaboration with Write by the Water, writing retreats.

This is another bar and another lunch- and a mystery man- Rick Ollerman, plus Absolutely*Kate , and Kate Laity AKA Graham Wynd we are all HOT.

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Some pretended not to know me


Which was kind of suspicious


But not to worry. There were many more days and opportunities to stalk— I mean, kindly, graciously approach and chat with those fantastic writers that move me to fill the blank page every day.

Like this dude reading at Noir at the Bar.


Or any of these folks in the super awesome author dog pile! 12138477_10152987427986910_8260181813687573982_o

Or this amazing Georgia writer, who I missed catching, but here we are a few years ago:

Karin Slaughter, Aug 2008

Or maybe even this guy who genuinely seems happy that I am interrupting their lunch,


because I had an idea to get him to personalize this book of his that I had just snatched up along with some other doozies:IMG_2272

and besides this guy dared me. See how incredulous he looks?                IMG_2189

What? You don’t believe me? Watch.


   Oh, you did believe me, that was just your I CAN’T  BELIEVE WE DRANK TWO BIG ASS 9.3% ALCOHOL DEVIL SOMETHING SOMETHING BEERS look.

Yes. That is the man himself, Mr. Lawrence Block, personalizing my 1967 copy of TANNER’S TWELVE SWINGERS, A Fawcett Gold Medal Book, while Mulholland’s Josh Kendall looks on. ( great guy)

Of  course there were panels and coffee breaks and more panels and book signings and  bookstore time and the silent auction- I DID NOT WIN A THING ;(  and more panels and note taking and the making of book lists that I must buy and read and then there was some rain and the best lunch ever! I heart you Absolutely* Kate.

Was this a success? YAAS. I got to meet Sean From Kindle Press and place a face with the voice on the phone with Danielle from HSG. I got to go dancing, heard some awesome music, made a bunch of new friends and contacts and came home with a notebook of ideas and a pocket of business cards.

Plus, I got to play the shoe show off game with Laura Lippman. It’s what we do.


Until next year, Bouchercon.

See you in NOLA.



Like what you read? Check out more of Linda’s writing over here.

Her new book, 3 Women Walk into a Bar is available on Amazon, or right here at lindasands.com 

“Clever, sexy, witty, and shot glasses full of fun, 3 Women Walk Into a Bar is no joke — and with one of the freshest and most exciting new voices in crime fiction, Linda Sands is an author to watch.” ~Douglas Corleone, author of One Man’s Paradise, Good as Gone, Payoff and Robert Ludlum’s The Janson Equation

 “Though its intelligent humor is obvious, 3 Women Walk into a Bar is no joke.  It’s a wonderfully twisted tale with a sly take on our digital culture.  Riveting and beautifully written, this is a novel that should be on everyone’s must-read list.” ~ William Kent Krueger, Edgar award winning author of Ordinary Grace, and the Cork O’Connor mystery series.

“Those who aren’t real-life friends with Linda Sands – or at the very least on Facebook, have no way to prepare for the verbal onslaught that is her wit and writing. “Three Women Walk into a Bar” introduces itself like the opening of a bad joke then quickly unravels into a roller-coaster murder mystery with a pace not beholden to the style of either coast. Sands is an original in a field of copycats, as fresh and deliberate as a sucker punch in the face.~ Matt McGee, editor, Falling Star Magazine

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